Another fantastic Saison Festival has come and gone. As the weather starts to get increasingly warm we look forward to the annual festival as it promises to have an assortment of beers that are refreshing, citrusy, and funky. This year Trinity hosted the event in their new barrel room, which is still under construction, but gave us all a good idea as to how large and how cool that space will be. The beer list was twice as long as last year and there were a number of new breweries participating. Trinity sold more tickets than last year and they sold out within about 45 minutes. In the new space there’s plenty of room so it didn’t feel as packed as it had in previous years.
For fun we decided to pass out a couple disposable cameras so we could feature some images that you took of yourselves and of your friend groups. The pictures turned out really well and perhaps tell a more complete story of the festival than we could capture with our one camera. We’ve included all the disposable camera photos that turned out, and we’ve mixed them in here with our photos.
I always look forward to trying Epic’s beers, their straight Saison is fantastic. I had a good pour of the Utah Sage, which was brewed with sage, thyme, and rosemary. It was my first beer of the festival and a good way to kick off the day. Epic, from Salt Lake City, announced about 6 months ago that they’re going to build a second facility in Denver. It will be a 20bbl brewery and will help offset some shipping costs, and allow the brewery to escape some strange alcohol laws in Utah. The brewery’s sour apple Saison was also fantastic.
|Brewers of Saisons, Jason Yester and Tom Brown of Trinity Brewing|
|Gordo was pouring some nice Trinity beers. The Oh Face Saison was lovely, as usual.|
In this photo you can begin to get a sense for the size and feel of the barrel cellar. It’s a big space and we were only using half of it. This was the first time it was open to the public, so it will be pretty cool to see the changes in time.
One of the major highlights this year was Prairie Artisan Ales. These guys packed out a bus/van and made a 13 hour drive just for the Saison Festival. Their artists drew into the late hours of the night so when they arrived they had quite the exhibition of artwork up. Once word got out that Prairie was at the festival, crowds gathered at their table to see what they were all about. All their beers were delicious. My favorites from the five that they brought were the Gold, a slightly tart, vinous, lemony beer with Lacto and Brett, and I also really enjoyed their Merica Farmhouse Ale, a citrusy and hoppy saison with a good earthy balance to it.
As it turns out Prairie Brewing is about to start distributing to Colorado. I think we’ll only see their beers in the Denver region for now but I hope we can bring them down to the Springs soon. The fine folks serving the Prairie beer said distribution would start in 2 weeks, which means that Colorado should see their beer as of this week.
Twisted Pine came to town with their new Petite Saison, which we’ll get to try again on Thursday during our Twisted Pine Meet the Brewer event. They also brought a couple of their lovely beers from their Artisan Ale Series that were really nice. We got to talking about their Farm to Foam Series and their Carrot IPA. Their rep told me that he had just opened a bottle of the Carrot IPA and even though it’s nearly a year old the beer had held together really nicely. A couple days later I opened up a Carrot IPA and was blown away at how great the beer was after all this time. It’s so good, that I convinced Coaltrain to supply some Carrot IPA, which was still on their shelf, to our Meet the Brewer event, so you’ll be able to try it then too.
Paradox also made a nice showing in their first Saison Fest. I made sure to get more of The Yang, an American-influenced witbier with Brett. The beer is so delicious and refreshing, I just want to make sure I get as much of that as I can before it’s gone.
Another local goodie was the Chickencooper from Phantom Canyon. This was a blend of John Landreman’s Saison, made for our Beers Made By Walking event, along with a sour hibiscus saison. I kept going back for that beer and talked politics with Mike. Well, at least that’s what I remember…it was toward the end of the day.
|Hailey and Cully are Chicago transplants. If you see them around town, buy them a beer. 😉|
As the hours went on, things started getting a little blurry. Six hours of Saison-drinking goodness has a tendency to do that to folks. Luckily, Black Bottle Brewing, a new brewery in Denver with a really great Dark Saison, provided these lovely Bad Ass underwear garments for people to wear. And yes, people did wear them. The next few photos are, my best guess, within the last hour or two of the festival.
|An excellent photo bomb|
Big Cheers to Trinity Brewing for another great Saison Festival. And also a big Thank You to all our rogue photographers. We very much enjoyed seeing these pictures and we’re happy to include them here.